work-life balance

Can This Marriage Be Saved? Why Did I Ever Marry a Cop?

October 20, 2011 at 4:25 pm , by

We all deal with the work day encroaching on our family time (how many of you spend more time canoodling your Blackberry than your husband?). But not all of us deal with the stress of a spouse with a job that’s not just stressful, but also potentially dangerous and traumatic, like Liz. Her husband Nick is a New York City police officer, and it’s wreaking havoc on their bond. Read the full story here.

Liz’s turn: Nary a day goes by that Liz, a 41-year-old stay-at-home mom of three kids, doesn’t worry that she’ll see her husband’s name on the evening news or that she’ll hear a knock at her door, and Nick’s captain will tell her that Nick didn’t make it back from a call. She’s proud of her husband and his work, but can’t help but let her imagination run wild with worst-case scenarios. Nick’s suggested she join a support group, but with the housework and child-rearing he leaves her to do alone, she doesn’t have the time. Plus, she’d really love to open up to her own husband about her feelings and not feel shut out. When Nick received a promotion to a position that would keep him at his desk and off the streets, she was thrilled that they might have a “normal life.” But with new responsibilities came longer hours, and she and the kids rarely spend time with him together. She feels exhausted and abandoned, and whenever they do get a chance to talk, they end up fighting.

Nick’s turn: The 39-year-old cop’s day job takes a huge emotional toll—he deals with violence and drama every day, but the gig requires him to put his head down and block it out to stay calm. He’s wiped when he gets home, he does still help around the house, even more than most dads he knows. Liz only whines and complains, gabs with her girlfriends on the phone all day, signs their kids up for endless extra-curricular activities, and, oh yeah, spends too much money stuff they can’t afford. She ambushes him as soon as he walks through the door every evening with new list of grievances and emotional blather. He takes a lot of pride in his work and provides for his family, but he’s missing a supportive spouse.

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